Brianna White

Staff member
Jul 30, 2019
The technology sector, known for its innovative prowess and dynamic evolution, still faces significant challenges regarding diversity and inclusion. Members of underrepresented groups often encounter systemic barriers that hinder their entry and progression within the industry. These challenges range from limited access to education and opportunities to systemic biases and a lack of representation at the leadership level.

Recognizing these obstacles, the tech industry is concerted efforts to broaden its perspective and embrace more diverse talent. Leaders within the sector are implementing practical strategies to dismantle long-standing barriers, aiming to create a more inclusive environment. Here, we explore specific challenges faced by underrepresented groups in tech, as highlighted by members of the Forbes Technology Council, and discuss actionable steps companies can take to promote diversity and inclusivity.

  1. Combatting the Existing Absence of Diversity The tech industry often lacks diversity and inclusion, making it challenging for underrepresented groups to feel welcomed. To address this, companies must adopt inclusive hiring practices, provide training to combat unconscious bias and strive to create a more inclusive workplace culture.
  2. Improving Accessibility for Disabled Individuals Accessibility remains a significant issue, with many tech environments assuming a baseline physical ability. Leveraging artificial intelligence can help remove barriers for employees with disabilities, enabling them to share information and perform tasks more efficiently. This approach fosters inclusivity and taps into a pool of untapped talent.
  3. Redefining Expertise and Educational Requirements The tech industry's narrow definition of the "ideal" candidate often overlooks individuals with nontraditional backgrounds who possess grit, intellectual curiosity, and problem-solving skills. Companies should broaden their hiring criteria beyond technical expertise and prestigious degrees to include diverse perspectives and experiences.
  4. Increasing Exposure to Technical Careers Underrepresented groups often lack exposure to technical career paths. Engaging in high school job fairs, offering internship programs, and providing mentorship can help break down these barriers, offering valuable experience and showcasing the possibilities within the tech industry.
  5. Reevaluating Entry-Level Requirements Many entry-level positions in tech have requirements that may be unnecessary and exclude talented individuals from underrepresented groups. By focusing on "future skills" that can be developed through mentorship or on-the-job training, companies can open doors for a broader range of candidates.
Discussion Prompt: How is your organization addressing diversity and inclusion within the tech industry? Are there specific initiatives or strategies you've found effective in overcoming the barriers underrepresented groups face? Share your experiences and insights as we work together to create a more inclusive and diverse tech landscape.

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